The hustle of the Holiday season is only heightened when you’re expecting a present of your own (or recently had one). And with the added stress of potential travel, holiday-shopping, ‘interesting’ family gatherings and office parties, it can be a lot for someone carrying around a large bump under that Christmas sweater, or even a new bundle of joy. So what’s an expectant or new mom to do when the eggnog is out of reach?
Here are my top holiday-survival tips to help make the season merry and bright:
Set expectations: Be kind to yourself and let go of your expectations of a "perfect" holiday. Your table doesn’t have to look like it’s out of magazine, Martha Stewart won’t be judging your meals, and even if you can’t bend down to hang ornaments, your tree will still look beautifully decorated from the middle-up.
Share the responsibilities: Balance is the key to getting through the holiday’s unscathed. If you are the designated hostess with the mostess for the big soiree, then plan a potluck so that you’re not slaving away in the kitchen and prepping the house for guests all while tending to a newborn.
Toss the schedules and routines down the chimney: The holiday’s are already jam packed with errands to finish and events to attend, don’t add more stress to your mocktail by sticking to a regimented schedule and/or routine with your newborn. Babies 0-3 months adapt fairly easily to any environment. Go with the Holiday flow and “let it go…”
Switch it up: Not wanting to let your morning sickness and swollen ankles stop you from throwing your annual holiday bash? Opt to host an afternoon get together when your energy levels are at their highest and you can comfortably mingle with your guests. And let’s face it, the earlier everyone leaves, the faster you can get back into your leggings and continue binge watching your favourite show.
Delegate: It's OK not to be superwoman and most people don't expect you to be, especially during this special time in your life when you’re either carrying around a massive bump, or a new babe. Ask others to take on tasks like holiday meal prep, gift buying (online and gift cards are perfectly acceptable or forgo gifts), etc. Don't try to do it all yourself.
Take part in the festivities: Just because you can't drink doesn't mean you can't cheer to the new year. Create a festive mocktail or have some sparkling water/juice on hand so you don't feel like you're being left out.
Be in the moment: This is probably one of the most hectic and demanding time in your life. Allow yourself to pause and take in the festivities, participate in conversations and not run around. Kids grow up quickly and the holidays are those times when you want to be able to take it all in.